Carry Me Back


In the four years since Old Crow Medicine Show’s last studio album, string music has gone from acquired-taste appetizer to semi-standard entrée. While acts like the Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Crooked Still have done their part to push the string-meets-bluegrass-meets-alt-country format ahead, Old Crow’s absence left a thirst not easily quenched. Fans craving new Old Crow will find Carry Me Back a satisfying feast. The band moves from uptempo fiddle-heavy foot-tappers—including the title track and “Bootlegger’s Boy”—to bluegrass ballads that would fit easily into Vince Gill’s catalog. Old Crow’s sound is elegant and deceptively simplistic. On “Genevieve,” the band conveys heartbreak as much through the aching fiddle line as with its woeful lyrics. Of course, not every song is an emotional wringer. There are plenty of “Hee Haw”-ready “Country Gal” tunes. The album is a triumph for these string-band masters. –Nancy Dunham

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